Orange bribes Lumia 800 customers with free Xbox

Orange is hoping to woo customers to Nokia's new Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset by bribing them with the offer of a free Xbox 360 when they sign up on contract.

The move follows a less-than-rapturous reception for the company's first handset based on Microsoft's mobile OS, and its lower-specified sibling, the Lumia 710, when it launched at the Nokia World 2011 conference on Wednesday.

During the presentation, Nokia Senior VP Kevin Shields at one point exclaimed "C'mon, that deserves some applause."

As yet, Orange hasn't yet clarified the precise model of Xbox 360 on offer from Microsoft's various SKUs. The official Orange advert states: "Get a free Xbox when you upgrade to the Nokia Lumia 800." Users would need to provide their mobile number if they are interested in this offer to get started.

The Lumia 800 is the higher-spec version of the two Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets that Nokia unveiled yesterday- as seen in our sister site's first-look footage of the handset here. The Lumia 800 offers a higher-quality AMOLED screen and better camera than its cheaper sibling, the Lumia 710.

With a price tag of just £250 for the 710, it seems the Finnish mobile giant doesn't think it needs quite such an aggressive marketing strategy - or can't afford the margin - to shift the cheaper phone.

A number of UK mobile operators have already signed up to offer the Lumia 800 but as yet no other company has come up with a freebie offer as tempting as that of Orange.

Nokia is taking orders for the handsets in Europe now, with a price tag of €420 (£370). Both models are expected to hit stores in the UK sometime in November.